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Identity Thief

2013-03-20 09:58
 
A reliably outrageous performance from Melissa McCarthy elevates this fluffy, sometimes crass comedy above the rest.
Identity Thief
What it's about:

A regular guy is forced to extreme measures to clear his name. With everything to lose after his identity is stolen, he'll find out how crazed one can get trying to settle a bad credit score.
 
What we thought:

Did you ever see a film called Planes, Trains and Automobiles? It's a classic comedy from 1987 starring John Candy and Steve Martin, directed by John Hughes. Martin plays an average guy (the thin one) who finds himself stuck in a cross country trip with the loud-mouthed, obnoxious guy (the fat one) played by Candy.

This must be a formula with a good couple of miles left on it because here again we have Identity Thief, which partners the sensible, level-headed character played by Jason Bateman with the obnoxious, loud-mouthed character played by Melissa McCarthy. I don’t know why the thin guy is usually the one who’s all pent up with rage and the portly one is loud and obnoxious, but there you go.

Bateman plays Sandy Patterson, an accountant who is just about to start a new job that will see a significant bump in his salary. When he is arrested for crimes he did not commit, it transpires that his identity has been stolen, and that the only way for him to clear his name (and hold onto his new job) is to track down the offending impostor (played by McCarthy). Further complicating things are a pair of crooks and a bounty hunter also looking for Fake Sandy. Needless to say, hijinks ensue.

I can't honestly say that I was expecting to like this film. Of late, comedies coming out of the Hollywood stable have come to rely on crass, tasteless humour with little charm or any wit (the Movie 43 being a prime example of this trend ). While Identity Thief certainly has its fair share of low-brow comedy, it somehow managed to avoid my full loathing. This is probably due in some part to Melissa McCarthy, who plays her character with the requisite obnoxiousness but doesn't cross the line into fully hate-able.

It helps that Bateman and McCarthy play well off of one another, his trademark dry delivery contrasting nicely with McCarthy's full volume performance. Nice too that the script gives the two a relationship arc that sees them developing a grudging respect as the story progresses.

Identity Thief is a film that won't make much of a dent on you. It's fluff, but to my surprise, it has heart. Fluff with heart is no bad thing, especially when it takes care not to outstay its welcome. You'll chuckle, you may even tear up come a few revelations late in the film and when the credits roll and you walk out of the cinema, you may even have a smile on your face.

It's not much, but it's enough. 

NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

Son of God

2014-04-11 09:36

Add Your Review

(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
DODO 3/25/2013 2:05 PM
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I really enjoyed it, very funny
nozi 3/27/2013 11:07 AM
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I watched it last night and really enjoyed it, this movie is really funny and worth every penny.
jeanette 3/28/2013 10:12 AM
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Not that funny to me
Keith 3/28/2013 12:21 PM
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Amazing, a nice no brainer sunday movie to escape reality
Gideon 3/31/2013 1:17 PM
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This Is One Of Those Comedy's You Cant Go Wrong With!!!
Lizette 4/2/2013 4:36 PM
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I wont say it was wonderful but i wont say it was bad. It was a good hartwarming but funny movie all around but a person expects more but the end was a very happy end and complimented the movie
Sheilan 4/3/2013 10:47 AM
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It was alright. Watched it this past weekend. I didn't laugh as much as I had hoped for but it was good.
Kevin 4/3/2013 11:26 AM
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A very clever and funny movie with a very good message interwoven in all the drama, action and comedy.
Natasha 4/3/2013 3:43 PM
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Although I didn't expect to, I really enjoyed the movie. As the reviewer said in the article above, it had just enough of everything without overstaying its welcome.
Sandra 4/24/2013 10:49 PM
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I thought it very cute, and funny. As you say, you walk out with a smile on your face
Adrienne 5/12/2013 9:15 PM
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very fuuny movie, lots of laughts but also a message of love and drama all the way
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